How to play Baccarat
It’s pretty easy to get to grips with online baccarat games. You’re playing against the banker, and the the aim is to bet on the hand you think will be closest to 9. One thing that sets baccarat apart from other table games is that you have the chance to bet on the banker’s hand as well as your own.
Here’s how a game of baccarat might play out:
- First bet. The game starts with the player betting on which hand they think will have the highest value before the cards are drawn. There are three possible outcomes: player win, banker win, or a tie.
- Cards are dealt. The players and the banker are both dealt two cards, both of which are face up. If either hand totals a 8 or 9, the game ends there. Hitting an 8 or 9 on the first two cards is known as a ‘natural’
- Player’s deal. If neither hand has a total of 8 or 9 the game continues. If the player’s hand has a total of 0-5, a third card is dealt, but the player will stand if their hand is worth 6 or 7.
- Banker’s deal. If the player stands, it moves over to the banker and the same rules apply.If a third card was drawn for the player, the rules become a bit more complicated:
- If the banker’s total is 0-2, a card is drawn regardless of the value of the player’s third card.
- If the banker’s total is 3, a third card is drawn unless the player’s third card was 8.
- If the banker’s total is 4, a third card is drawn if the player’s third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the banker’s total is 5, a third card is drawn if the player’s third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the banker’s total is 6, a third card is drawn if the player’s third card was 6 or 7.
- If the banker’s total is 7, the banker stands.
- Collect your winnings. Once all of these rounds have been completed, the hand closest to 9 wins the round and the game restarts. You’ll be notified if your bet has won, and any winnings will be credited to your account.
Baccarat hand values
Card values in baccarat aren’t quite the same as other casino card games. Tens and face cards are all worth zero, aces are worth one and all other cards are worth their face value.
The most important rule to understand is that a hand’s value is calculated by taking the right number of the total sum. So if a player has a 9 and 8, the hand is worth 7. This is because 9+8=17 and 7 is the rightmost number of 17.
The highest possible baccarat hand is 9, so there’s no chance of going bust like there is in blackjack.
Most baccarat games at UK online casinos have the same rules, but there are a few variations that are played across the world. Let’s take a look at the most popular baccarat variations.
Punto banco is the version played at most UK casinos, and it’s often just titled ‘baccarat’. In this variation, six or eight decks are used. Bets are placed at the start of each round before the players and the banker are dealt two cards each. If neither hand totals eight or nine, a third is dealt to each hand to decide the winner.
Chemin de fer
This six-deck version is played in brick and mortar casinos but is rarely found online. Whereas land-based punto banco is run by a dealer, it’s the players that deal in Chemin de fer, with the role rotating each round. Players also have the choice of whether to accept or reject the third card, which introduces an element of strategy to this variation.
Baccarat banque is similar to Chemin de fer, but the banker remains the same unless they retire, exhaust their funds or all have dealt all cards. This three-deck baccarat variation is usually a high stakes game as the banker is chosen based on which player is willing to risk the largest wager.
This variation is fairly common at online casinos and is essentially the same as punto banco, also using six or eight decks. The main differences are that it is played on a smaller table and with lower stakes.
Start playing online baccarat today
- Compare casinos. We’ve picked out the best baccarat sites for out genius list. Check out our casino reviews to find out bonuses, banking options and much more.
- Sign up. After you’ve found your ideal site, it’s time to create an account. Our link will take you straight to the registration page so that you can get signed up within minutes.
- Deposit . If you want to play real money games you’ll need to fund your account. Simply head over to the cashier page and follow the on-screen instructions to make your first deposit.
- Play. Once you’ve got a bankroll to work with make your way to the games library, choose your baccarat game and start playing. Have fun!
Live dealer baccarat
Want to enjoy a live game of baccarat in the comfort of your own home? You can, thanks to live dealer baccarat. Live dealer variations are available at UK’s top casino sites, and are streamed from casinos or specially-built studios. Interact with the dealer and other players through the live chat feature, which makes for an immersive and authentic casino experience.
But live dealer games aren’t for everyone- these games are pretty much exclusive to real money players and tend to have higher minimum bets than other online baccarat games.
Just like with any other casino game, you can play free baccarat games at many top baccarat sites. These are ideal if you simply want to enjoy baccarat for fun, or if you’re a casino newbie and want to get to grips with baccarat rules and strategy before you put real money on the line. It goes without saying that you won’t hit the big bucks playing baccarat for free, but that isn’t what it’s all about.
Software developers are making it easier and more enjoyable to play baccarat online, or any other online casino game, on your mobile. Casino software houses aren’t just optimising existing games for mobile play, they’re also creating new games specifically for use on mobile devices. Using HTML5, mobile baccarat games make for seamless gaming across devices, whether you’re playing on desktop, mobile or tablet.
The UK’s top baccarat sites all have mobile-friendly websites or native mobile apps, adding to this mobile gaming experience. You’ll have the same choice of baccarat variations, including live dealer games and fast payment methods when you’re playing on your mobile.
Baccarat odds and house edge
Whenever you’re playing casino games it’s always good to have an understanding of the odds, payouts and the house edge. These are the need-to-know figures for online baccarat:
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